This is an excerpt from "This Will Be a Sign to You" , December 18.
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
-Colossians 1:16-17, NIV
God isn’t Santa, He’s sovereign. But, we like to imagine Him as Santa. We desperately seek happiness and fulfillment. So, when something seems bad or a negative emotion arises, we try to run from it. Basically, the rule is this: If it’s bad it’s Satan. If it’s good it’s God/Santa.
The reality is that bad things can happen and God can still be working them out for our good...
There’s an excellent quote from Mary Oliver that states, “Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too was a gift."
When Christmas isn’t as merry and bright as it’s supposed to be, it can be like a giant chocolate box full of darkness. Each taste offers a different, unexpected, bitter taste. Letting ourselves be truly angry, broken hearted, and experience the breadth of a negative emotion is like savoring a piece of 80 percent dark cocoa. There is the sharp tang of the first morose morsel and, yet, just a hint of sweet at the end.
It has taken me every day of these last several years to understand that a broken heart or even the sadness at not being delivered from the pit and the prison when we want to be is all a gift.
God is with us here. Even the hardest holiday moments have purpose for us all.
Advent idea: We’ve all heard of the tacky Christmas sweater. But, what about your favorite obnoxious Christmas socks? Are they fuzzy? Do they have strings of lights, dogs in hats, or funny sayings written on the soles of the feet? Wear your most ridiculous pair today.
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.